Spring 2018 footnotes in memoriam
DAVID B. HARRISON ’64 died August 8, 2017, at the age of 78. He and his wife, Ruth Deffinbaugh Harrison ’64, were expecting to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary the month of his passing. The couple had been missionaries in Asia for nearly 40 years with WorldVenture.
JAMES “JIM” HASHMAN ’83 died January 31, 2018, at the age of 56. Born in Fukuoka, Japan, James met his wife, Marcia, in Seattle the summer before high school and they dated for seven years. The SPU music education major played piano, clarinet, and tympani. At the age of 22, he became a music teacher at Chief Sealth High School, then took the choir director position at Mountlake Terrace High School. In 1989, he applied for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity schools and accepted a job in Panama. By 2007, the Hashmans and their two children lived in Okinawa. In 2013, Jim was diagnosed with ALS, a neurological disease that causes loss of muscle control. At the time, Jim was enjoying an intense love of music, running half marathons with his wife, snorkeling and biking, even playing in a rock band of friends called “The Handsome Strangers.” He dealt with ALS with courage and joy, wanting to be an inspiration to others struggling with the disease. Jim eventually lost all muscle control and by 2017 needed a tracheotomy. For the last few years of his life, he used eye gaze technology to communicate and write three songs. It took him months to write each one. In September 2017, he completed “Glory to God in the Highest,” his last song. In December, Jim was there to see and hear the song performed in a concert by the Mosaic Arts Choir and Orchestra. He is survived by his wife of 34 years; a son; a daughter; his mother; a brother; two sisters; and was about to become a grandfather for the first time.
TRISTAN KERN, an SPU junior, died November 10, 2017, at the age of 21. Born in Newberg, Oregon, Tristan lettered in cross-country and rugby at Newberg High School. A passionate outdoorsman, the fashion design and merchandising major enjoyed hiking, fishing, and hunting, and was president of SPU’s Bike Club. He died in a hiking accident on Mt. Storm King in Olympic National Park. Tristan is survived by his parents; two sisters; grandparents; aunts; uncles: and 12 cousins.
HELEN DIMMITT KOLLER ’47 died February 5, 2018, at the age of 94. Born in Eatonville, Washington, Helen was the youngest of five children and was raised in Olympia and the South Puget Sound area. She graduated cum laude from Seattle Pacific with a degree in music and her teaching credentials. She served in the elementary school classroom for 12 years, then retired to raise a family in the Seattle area. Helen was a member of First Free Methodist Church for more than 40 years. She enjoyed choral music and was active in several church choirs and ensembles in the Seattle area. Baking and sewing were other strong suits, and later in life, she accompanied her husband and public school administrator, J. Gilbert Koller ’48, on travel across the U.S. and Europe. Helen is survived by her husband of 70 years; a son; a daughter; and three grandchildren.
MORRIS “MORRY” LARSEN ’53 died January 16, 2018, at the age of 91. Born in Rochert, Minnesota, the Rev. Dr. Morry was baptized and confirmed at Eglund Lutheran Church, eventually graduating from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. He attended Seattle Pacific, and afterward Lutheran Brethren Seminary. As a Lutheran pastor, he served churches in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington. He and wife Myrtle also served on the Japan mission field for 20 years. In retirement, Morry owned and operated Morry’s Painting Service with his sons. The Larsens spent the last few years living in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. A hard worker and devoted minister, Morry is survived by his wife; five children; 12 grandchildren; and 15 great grandchildren.
GLENN MCFARLANE ’72 died January 26, 2018, at the age of 68. Born in Seattle, Glenn graduated from Montana’s Billings Senior High School in 1968, and served in the U.S. Army Reserves for five years while attending Seattle Pacific. He began his professional career in banking, but after the move to Billings, he became office manager for Billings Clinic. Then followed five years as an administrative and associate pastor at Faith Chapel. In 1990, Glenn found the career for which he was best suited, CFO and eventually CEO of Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch. For 25 years, he helped struggling youth get the treatment needed to thrive in life. Glenn was known for his smile, quirky sense of humor, and ability in growing flowers. Possessed of strong convictions, he had a compassion to match and a devoted passion for Jesus Christ. Glenn is survived by Anne, his wife of 45 years; four children, including Carey McFarlane McMann ’03; six grandchildren; and a sister.
TIFFANY MEALMAN ’07 died January 28, 2018, at the age of 33. A graduate of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, Tiffany earned a degree in chemistry at SPU. She did her graduate work at the University of Arizona and received her PhD in biochemistry at the age of 28. It was in 2012 that she was diagnosed with cancer and a year later that she joined the faculty of Grand Canyon University, quickly becoming the lead faculty member in biochemistry in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Her dedication to her students and deep devotion to God were hallmarks of her work and life. So was her very visible five-year fight with cancer, fighting through the fatigue and pain, sharing her journey with her students, never letting the cancer get her down. Tiffany is survived by her parents; a brother; and three sisters.
PATRICIA “PATTIE” MHOON ’79 died September 9, 2017, at the age of 77. Born in Monticello, Arkansas, Pattie moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and pursued secretarial work for the next 10 years. She moved back to the Seattle area to stay and went to work first at Boeing, then at an international land development company where she advanced to the position of assistant vice president. In 1973, she felt the need for a significant change in her life and went to work in the business office of Youth With a Mission in Lausanne, Switzerland. At the same time, she worked with the first Congress on International World Evangelization hosted by the Billy Graham Association. Her dual roles meant many late nights. Eventually she returned home to Arkansas to recuperate when along came her second overseas assignment at an international school in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. At the end of the school year, Pattie returned to Seattle and completed a degree in business administration at SPU followed by three years as the financial director of International Correspondence Institute in Brussels, Belgium. She returned to the U.S., where she enrolled in the University of Puget Sound School of Law at the age of 46, graduated, and opened her own law firm. She practiced appellate law for 13 years until retiring in 2005. Pattie loved to sing and was devoted to her Christian faith. She is preceded in death by her parents and a sister.
BEVERLEE PLATT OVERLAND ’48 died November 24, 2017, at the age of 92. Born in Bakersfield, California, Beverlee grew up in Atolia, California, where her father was a justice of the peace and a grocery store owner, while her mother was the town postmaster. Beverlee attended Barstow High School and was involved with student government. She started her college experience at Los Angeles Pacific College, then transferred to Seattle Pacific. After graduation, she taught English and was a dean of women at SPC. She married Norman Overland ’45 and together they spent the next 20 years as missionaries with the Free Methodist Church in Japan. Beverlee enjoyed leading ladies’ Bible studies at the church in Hitachi. After their return to the States, the Overlands served Free Methodist congregations in Everett, Ballard, and Renton, Washington. Known for her caring and giving ways, Beverlee is survived by her husband; two sons; four grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.
SHIRLEY HILTON SCHWAB ’55 died November 28, 2017, at the age of 84. Born in Los Angeles, Shirley earned her undergraduate degree in education at Seattle Pacific. She and her husband, James Schwab ’58, raised five children and moved to the Clayton/Deer Park area of Spokane, Washington, in 1970. For 35 years, Shirley sang with the Crown of Thorns Choir, including seven choir trips to Europe to proclaim the love and saving power of Jesus Christ. She is survived by her husband of 65 years; three sons; two daughters; 12 grandchildren; and 15 great grandchildren.
SARAH STEELE ’07 died November 14, 2017, at the age of 32. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sarah was a graduate of Lake Washington High School and an active member of Lake Washington United Methodist Church in Kirkland, Washington. Born with a rare musculoskeletal disease called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive (FOP), she nonetheless persisted to live life with joy and optimism, and loved to sing God’s praises. Sarah was an active member of the International FOP Association and had friends all over the world. Her lovely voice, sweet smile, and radiant, outgoing personality uplifted many. She sang in the Lake Washington High School Concert Choir, the SPU Women’s Choir, and her church chancel choir. She was a fan of movies, live theater, detective novels, and chocolate. The daughter of Marilyn Hair and SPU Professor Moral and Historical Theology Rick Steele, Sarah is survived by her parents; a brother; a sister; three aunts; and several cousins.
LOIS HODSON STEWARD ’55 died January 29, 2018, at the age of 84. Born on a farm in Ericson, Nebraska, Lois was the sixth child of 12. Her family were loyal Free Methodists, attending the church in Sargent, Nebraska. Lois put her faith in Christ at an early age. She graduated from Loop County School and attended Central College for one year. The following year, she taught eight grades in a one-room school near home before attending Teacher’s College, in Kearney, Nebraska. After that, it was off to Seattle Pacific where she not only earned a degree, but also met the love of her life, Rev. Dr. Paul D. Steward ’55. They married two months after graduation and served Mission South Dakota Wesleyan Church. Lois loved the life of the pastor’s wife and teaching a mix of Native American children and white children. The Stewards were accepted as missionaries with World Gospel Mission of Marion, Indiana. In 1997, after 40 years on the mission field, 38 of them in Bolivia, the couple retired. At the time of her death, Lois was a member of Hartford City Wesleyan Church. She is survived by her husband; two daughters; seven grandchildren; two great grandchildren; five brothers; four sisters; and many nieces and nephews.
SHARLYN WARNER TURNER ’90 died January 30, 2018, at the age of 49. Sharlyn attended Okanagan High School in Eastern Washington, then earned a degree in accounting at SPU. She joined the accounting firm of Peterson Sullivan LLP in 1995 and became a partner in 2006. She and her husband, Bill, had a daughter and enjoyed a summer cabin in Conconully, Washington. Even after a diagnosis of breast cancer, the Turners saw each other through thick and thin. Despite her illness, Sharlyn enjoyed running, working full-time, and leading the board of directors of the Seattle Waldorf School. Her health took a sharp decline in January 2018 and she chose to forego further treatment and spend her remaining days at home in hospice care with her family. Sharlyn lived life with kindness, strength, courage, and an infectious laugh. She is survived by her husband and daughter; her parents; and a brother.
PETER VAN VERMILLION ’95 died January 25, 2018, at the age of 58. Born in Seattle, Peter is a graduate of Mountlake Terrace High School, where he was a member of the 1977 Washington State Championship basketball team. After graduating from SPU, he became a real estate appraiser and an avid downhill and cross-country skier. He enjoyed snowmobiling, backpacking, and hiking, and was a longtime volunteer ski instructor at SkiForAll, specializing in instruction for people with disabilities. For the past 17 years, he lived in Williamsburg, Virginia. For the last three of those years he fought valiantly against metastatic colon cancer. The devoted husband, father, basketball coach, and man of faith, Peter is survived by Shirley, his wife of 22 years; four sons; and a brother.
JANET KNEELAND WOODBURY ’73 died September 13, 2017, at the age of 66. Born in Tillamook, Oregon, Janet is a graduate of Neah-Kah-Nie High School. After graduating from Seattle Pacific, she earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Portland. For 41 years, she taught elementary school, 35 of those in the small Oregon coastal towns of Beaver and Cloverdale. She was a Sunday school teacher and attended Tillamook Church of the Nazarene. Despite contracting polio at age 3, she was always up for any physical activity. She trusted God for everything, especially her family. Janet enjoyed Scrabble, camping, picking huckleberries, having Seahawks potlucks with the neighbors, and watching wildlife from the porch, cup of coffee in hand. Her artistic side came out in knitted worsted wool purses, which she sold at Sunflower Flats, a flowers and gifts shop in Tillamook. Sharlyn is survived by her husband, Woody; a son; two daughters; her father; and a brother.